P5+1 seeks immediate nuclear talks with Iran

P5+1 seeks immediate nuclear talks with Iran

BRUSSELS - Reuters
P5+1 seeks immediate nuclear talks with Iran

President Ahmadinejad (C) visits an uranium enrichment facility in this file photo. AP photo

Six world powers have agreed to seek renewed talks with Iran as fast as possible, reflecting a heightened sense of urgency to resolve a long rift over Tehran’s disputed nuclear activity and avert the threat of war.

Senior diplomats from the six countries, the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany, met in Brussels on Nov. 21 to consider new negotiating tactics despite abiding skepticism that a deal with Tehran can be reached. It was not clear after the meeting what options, if any, were agreed. But the six said “necessary contact” with the Iranians would be made “in the coming days.”

“The (six powers) are committed to having another round of talks with Iran as soon as possible,” said a spokesman for EU foreign policy Chief Catherine Ashton, who represents the six countries in dealings with Iran.

“There certainly is a window to do a deal, but that window is closing, and closing fast. Ultimately it depends on the Iranians meeting their international obligations,” said Ariel Ratner, a former Obama administration political appointee on Middle East issues at the State Department.

Seconding the sense of urgency, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, in remarks quoted by Interfax news agency, said: “There is no losing time and, from that point of view, the talks were productive and matters have advanced.”

In the earlier meetings this year, the powers called on Iran to stop producing higher-grade enriched uranium, shut down the Fordow facility and ship its stockpile abroad.